Good news friends. The tide is starting to turn… Homeopathy is starting to defend itself in earnest against biased attacks in the medical literature and media in general.
A press release by the Faculty of Homeopathy today shows that the ‘conclusions’ of a paper in the Lancet entitled ‘The End of Homeopathy’ have been called into serious doubt. As Dr Peter Fisher puts it: they cast ‘serious doubts on the review, showing that it was based on a series of hidden judgments unfavourable to homeopathy’ No space for the detail but here are the references Lüdtke R, Rutten ALB. The conclusions on the effectiveness of homeopathy highly depend on the set of analyzed trials. J Clin Epidemiol 2008. doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2008.06.015
Rutten ALB, Stolper CF. The 2005 meta-analysis of homeopathy: the importance of post-publication data. Homeopathy 2008. doi:10.1016/j.homp.2008.09.008.
More amusing and therefore much more appealing to me was an amazing article in the New York Times (you might need to register to read it but free registration to the NYT is not a bad idea) citing a study that shows half of US doctors prescribe 'placebos', but they are not really placebos like homeopathy (please pronounce with a sneering tone) because they have active ingredients that are known to have adverse effects. Thus I conclude that from the point of view of Scientism it is better to prescribe a placebo that may well cause harm to a patient than to give patients homeopathic (have you perfected that sneer yet?) medicines that nobody accuses of having side effects. And if you have any doubts about the sheer scale of adverse effects that orthodox drugs can produce just read this recent article. It is clearly better to give a medicine that can have a bad effect than one that can’t have any effect. That way at least the doctors that prescribe them don’t look stupid. Primum non nocere (‘First do no harm’) said Hippocrates but what did he know? Or for that matter what did any of the Greek philosophers know? They can go and jump in the River of Elitism as far as Scientism and The Dumbed Down Society are concerned. We have the ‘philosophy’ of Naïve Realism to explain everything these days. And we have journalists like Ben Goldacre (medical doctor) and Simon Singh (not a doctor) to jeer at anyone who subscribes to inane concepts such as holism, vitalism and whole person medicine. And if they are not considered sufficiently qualified there is always the greatest exponent of Scientism on the planet (besides the magician, James Randi) Professor Richard Dawkins to call upon to prove that homeopathy is nonsense. After thousands of years of unsuccessful efforts, this man has finally disproved the existence of God so what chance has homeopathy got against him? We, homeopaths lie vanquished in the gutter next to God licking our wounds. What can we possible say except that at least we are in good company?
And never, never forget the main message of this post: Medical doctors retain the inalienable right to prescribe placebos as long as those placebos can be shown unequivocally to have an effect on patients. Whether that effect is positive or negative seems to be besides the point!